Biparental Care (biparental + care)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Relative influence of male and female care in determining nestling mass in a migratory songbird

JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY, Issue 5 2010
Kirk W. Stodola
Biparental care is common in birds, with the allocation of effort being highly variable between the sexes. In most songbird species, the female typically provides the most care early in the breeding cycle with both parents providing care when provisioning young. Food provisioning should be directly related to offspring quality; however, the relative influence each parent has on offspring quality has rarely been assessed at the nest level. Consequently, we were interested in assessing the relative influence male and female provisioning has on one measurement of offspring quality, nestling mass, in the black-throated blue warbler Dendroica caerulescens. Over a six year period, 2003,2008, we collected information on average nestling mass per brood on day 6 of the nestling cycle and parental provisioning rates on day 7 of the nestling cycle from 182 first brood nests on three different study plots. We found that average nestling mass was directly related to male provisioning rate, while it was not related to female provisioning rate. On the other hand, estimated biomass provisioned had little influence on average nestling mass, calling into question its utility in assessing parental quality. Finally, there was some indication that parental influence on average nestling mass was dependent on the other parent's provisioning rate, suggesting that parents work in concert to influence nestling quality. [source]


How is sexual conflict over parental care resolved?

JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, Issue 9 2009
A meta-analysis
Abstract Biparental care of offspring is both a form of cooperation and a source of conflict. Parents face a trade-off between current and future reproduction: caring less for the current brood allows individuals to maintain energy reserves and increase their chances of remating. How can selection maintain biparental care, given this temptation to defect? The answer lies in how parents respond to changes in each other's effort. Game-theoretical models predict that biparental care is evolutionarily stable when reduced care by one parent leads its partner to increase care, but not so much that it completely compensates for the lost input. Experiments designed to reveal responses to reduced partner effort have mainly focused on birds. We present a meta-analysis of 54 such studies, and conclude that the mean response was indeed partial compensation. Males and females responded differently and this was in part mediated by the type of manipulation used. [source]


Negotiation of parental care when the stakes are high: experimental handicapping of one partner during incubation leads to short-term generosity

JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
Karen L. Wiebe
Summary 1. Most game theoretical models of biparental care predict that a reduction in care by one partner should not be fully compensated by increased work of its mate but this may not be true for incubating birds because a reduction in care could cause the entire brood to fail. 2. I performed the first handicapping experiment of both males and females during incubation, by placing small lead weights on the tails of male and female northern flickers Colaptes auratus, a woodpecker in which males do most of the incubation. 3. Females responded to the acute stressor (handling and handicapping) by tending to abandon more readily than males and staying away from the nest longer in the first incubation bout. Among pairs that persisted, both males and females compensated fully for a handicapped partner, keeping the eggs covered nearly 100% of the time. 4. Partners did not retaliate by forcing their handicapped mate to sit on the eggs with a long incubation bout length subsequent to having a long bout length themselves. Instead, during the 24 h immediately after handicapping, males behaved generously by relieving handicapped females early. 5. Such generosity was probably not energetically sustainable as these male partners took on less incubation in the 72 h following handicapping compared to female partners of handicapped males. Males and females are probably generous in the short-term because of the high cost of nest failure during incubation but maintaining increased work loads in the longer term is probably limited by body condition and abandonment thresholds consistent with game theory models. [source]


Parental care and social mating system in the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor

JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2000
Ulf Wiktander
The sexes' share in parental care and the social mating system in a marked population of the single-brooded Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor were studied in 17 woodpecker territories in southern Sweden during 10 years. The birds showed a very strong mate fidelity between years; the divorce rate was 3.4%. In monogamous pairs, the male provided more parental care than the female. The male did most of the nest building and all incubation and brooding at night. Daytime incubation and brooding were shared equally by the sexes, and biparental care at these early breeding stages is probably necessary for successful breeding. In 42% of the nests, however, though still alive the female deserted the brood the last week of the nestling period, whereas the male invariably fed until fledging and fully compensated for the absent female. Post-fledging care could not be quantified, but was likely shared by both parents. Females who ceased feeding at the late nestling stage resumed care after fledging. We argue that the high premium on breeding with the same mate for consecutive years and the overall lower survival of females have shaped this male-biased organisation of parental care. In the six years with best data, most social matings were monogamous, but 8.5% of the females (N=59) exhibited simultaneous multi-nest (classical) polyandry and 2.9% of the males (N=68) exhibited multi-nest polygyny. Polyandrous females raised 39% more young than monogamous pairs. These females invested equal amounts of parental care at all their nests, but their investment at each nest was lower than that of monogamous females. The polyandrously mated males fully compensated for this lower female investment. Polygynous males invested mainly in their primary nest and appeared to be less successful than polyandrous females. Polyandry and polygyny occurred only when the population sex ratio was biased, and due to strong intra-sexual competition this is likely a prerequisite for polygamous mating in Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. [source]


How is sexual conflict over parental care resolved?

JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, Issue 9 2009
A meta-analysis
Abstract Biparental care of offspring is both a form of cooperation and a source of conflict. Parents face a trade-off between current and future reproduction: caring less for the current brood allows individuals to maintain energy reserves and increase their chances of remating. How can selection maintain biparental care, given this temptation to defect? The answer lies in how parents respond to changes in each other's effort. Game-theoretical models predict that biparental care is evolutionarily stable when reduced care by one parent leads its partner to increase care, but not so much that it completely compensates for the lost input. Experiments designed to reveal responses to reduced partner effort have mainly focused on birds. We present a meta-analysis of 54 such studies, and conclude that the mean response was indeed partial compensation. Males and females responded differently and this was in part mediated by the type of manipulation used. [source]


Parental investment, sexual selection and sex ratios

JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2008
HANNA KOKKO
Abstract Conventional sex roles imply caring females and competitive males. The evolution of sex role divergence is widely attributed to anisogamy initiating a self-reinforcing process. The initial asymmetry in pre-mating parental investment (eggs vs. sperm) is assumed to promote even greater divergence in post-mating parental investment (parental care). But do we really understand the process? Trivers [Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man 1871,1971 (1972), Aldine Press, Chicago] introduced two arguments with a female and male perspective on whether to care for offspring that try to link pre-mating and post-mating investment. Here we review their merits and subsequent theoretical developments. The first argument is that females are more committed than males to providing care because they stand to lose a greater initial investment. This, however, commits the ,Concorde Fallacy' as optimal decisions should depend on future pay-offs not past costs. Although the argument can be rephrased in terms of residual reproductive value when past investment affects future pay-offs, it remains weak. The factors likely to change future pay-offs seem to work against females providing more care than males. The second argument takes the reasonable premise that anisogamy produces a male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) leading to males competing for mates. Male care is then predicted to be less likely to evolve as it consumes resources that could otherwise be used to increase competitiveness. However, given each offspring has precisely two genetic parents (the Fisher condition), a biased OSR generates frequency-dependent selection, analogous to Fisherian sex ratio selection, that favours increased parental investment by whichever sex faces more intense competition. Sex role divergence is therefore still an evolutionary conundrum. Here we review some possible solutions. Factors that promote conventional sex roles are sexual selection on males (but non-random variance in male mating success must be high to override the Fisher condition), loss of paternity because of female multiple mating or group spawning and patterns of mortality that generate female-biased adult sex ratios (ASR). We present an integrative model that shows how these factors interact to generate sex roles. We emphasize the need to distinguish between the ASR and the operational sex ratio (OSR). If mortality is higher when caring than competing this diminishes the likelihood of sex role divergence because this strongly limits the mating success of the earlier deserting sex. We illustrate this in a model where a change in relative mortality rates while caring and competing generates a shift from a mammalian type breeding system (female-only care, male-biased OSR and female-biased ASR) to an avian type system (biparental care and a male-biased OSR and ASR). [source]


The effects of lactation and infant care on adult energy budgets in wild siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus)

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
Susan Lappan
Abstract In mammals with biparental care of offspring, males and females may bear substantial energetic costs of reproduction. Adult strategies to reduce energetic stress include changes in activity patterns, reduced basal metabolic rates, and storage of energy prior to a reproductive attempt. I quantified patterns of behavior in five groups of wild siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus) to detect periods of high energetic investment by adults and to examine the relationships between infant care and adult activity patterns. For females, the estimated costs of lactation peaked at around infant age 4,6 months and were low by infant age 1 year, whereas the estimated costs of infant-carrying peaked between ages 7 and 12 months, and approached zero by age 16 months. There was a transition from primarily female to male care in the second year of life in some groups. Females spent significantly less time feeding during lactation than during the later stages of infant care, suggesting that female siamangs do not use increased food intake to offset the costs of lactation. Female feeding time was highest between infant ages 16 and 21 months, a period of relatively low female investment in the current offspring that coincided with the period of highest male investment in infant care. This suggests that male care may reduce the costs of infant care for females in the later stages of a reproductive attempt. The female energy gain resulting from male care was likely invested in somatic maintenance and future reproduction, rather than the current offspring. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Mated pairs of owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae) exhibit sex differences in response to unfamiliar male and female conspecifics

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, Issue 11 2010
Christy K. Wolovich
Abstract In socially monogamous species, mate-guarding could be a reproductive strategy that benefits both males and females, especially when males contribute to parental care. By actively guarding mates, males may reduce their chances of being cuckolded, whereas females that mate-guard may reduce the likelihood that their mates will desert them or acquire additional mates, and hence limit or reduce paternal care of offspring. Owl monkeys (Aotus spp.) are socially monogamous with biparental care of young and, hence, potential beneficiaries of mate-guarding. We presented mated pairs of captive owl monkeys (A. nancymaae) with unfamiliar male and female conspecifics, to determine if either member of the pair exhibits intraspecific aggression toward an intruder or stays close to its mate, behaviors indicative of mate-guarding. Male mates were more responsible for the maintenance of close proximity between mates than females. Male mates also exhibited elevated levels of behavior that signify arousal when presented with a male conspecific. These responses by mated male owl monkeys are consistent with patterns that may help prevent cuckoldry. Am. J. Primatol. 72:942,950, 2010. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Life history traits and parental care in Lepilemur ruficaudatus

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, Issue 1 2008
Roland Hilgartner
Abstract In this study we investigated the importance of biparental care for the evolution and/or maintenance of pair-living in red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus), a nocturnal folivorous lemur. Between 2000 and 2005, we collected data on life history traits from a total of 14 radio-collared pairs of adults and their offspring in Kirindy forest, western Madagascar. Predation rate varied between years with a minimum of 0% and a maximum of 40% per year. Patterns of parental care were quantified during simultaneous focal observations of both pair-partners in 2003 and 2004. Mating activity was limited to the months of May and June, as indicated by conspicuous changes of vulval morphology and male mate guarding behavior. After a gestation length of about 5 months, which is much longer than expected for a lemur of this body mass, single infants were born in November. Lactation lasted for about 50 days. Apart from lactation, females provided infant care by warming, grooming and transporting infants orally. Infants were parked in dense vegetation while females foraged. Males were seen only rarely in proximity to infants and we found no evidence for direct infant care provided by social fathers. We conclude that the necessity of direct infant care cannot explain the evolution and/or maintenance of pair-living in Lepilemur ruficaudatus. Am. J. Primatol. 70:2,11, 2008. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Social bonds in birds are associated with brain size and contingent on the correlated evolution of life-history and increased parental investment

BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, Issue 1 2010
SUSANNE SHULTZ
In birds, large brains are associated with a series of population-level phenomena, including invasion success, species richness, and resilience to population decline. Thus, they appear to open up adaptive opportunities through flexibility in foraging and anti-predator behaviour. The evolutionary pathway leading to large brain size has received less attention than behavioural and ecological correlates. Using a comparative approach, we show that, independent of previously recognized associations with developmental constraints, relative brain size in birds is strongly related to biparental care, pair-bonding, and stable social relationships. We also demonstrate correlated evolution between large relative brain size and altricial development, and that the evolution of both traits is contingent on biparental care. Thus, biparental care facilitates altricial development, which permits the evolution of large relative brain size. Finally, we show that large relative brain size is associated with pair-bond strength, itself a likely consequence of cooperation and negotiation between partners under high levels of parental investment. These analyses provide an evolutionary model for the evolution of and prevalence of biparental care, altricial development, and pair-bonding in birds. 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 100, 111,123. [source]